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The London Magazine has a publication history spanning almost two hundred years, and has featured work by some of the most prominent names in literature, from John Keats to Hilary Mantel. In this curated selection, we share our favourite pieces from the TLM archive.

‘Où êtes-vous ô jeunes filles’, sighed Apollinaire nostalgically, in a particularly inventive ‘calligramme’ sent from his army post in 1914. And the names he lists form the wings of a dove hovering above a fountain: Mia, Mareye, Yette, Lorie, Annie, Marie. These by no means comprise a roll-call of his youthful conquests, of course. Perhaps they were the only ones he found it convenient to remember at that moment, or perhaps those particular names just fitted nicely into the poem’s [...]
The following piece was first published in The London Magazine October 1955 Volume 2 No. 10 as “Coming to London — II”, part of an at-the-time regular series about London life.Leonard WoolfComing to London I ‘came to London’ embryonically,...
The following piece was first published in The London Magazine August 1956 Volume 3 No. 8 as "Coming to London — IX", part of an at-the-time regular series about London life.                   ...
The following piece by the post-war experimental writer Ann Quin (1936-1973) was originally published in the July 1966 issue of The London Magazine, but was last year re-published in the sublime collection of short stories and fragments The Unmapped...
First published in The London Magazine March 1983, Vol.22, No.12Jorge Luis Borges entered the Pedmonte Restaurant on Avenida de Mayo with the stiff steps of the unseeing; his face jutting forward to sense what the eyes could not see. It was...
While looking through our archive recently we came across this review by Evelyn Waugh of Nancy Mitford's novel Don't Tell Alfred from 1960. Displaying a characteristic mix of erudition and passion for story telling (alongside more than a hint...
Jonathan Raban is an award-winning writer, author of among many others, 1974's Soft City, an early classic of psychogeographical urban writing. In February 1970 he wrote the following essay for the "Living in London" essay series, of which this...
For some reason taxis are always scarce in my district. Late on a wet night, the few there were would certainly be engaged, if their drivers weren’t already sitting comfortably at home in the warm. So I was worried about getting one for M, who’d looked in earlier in the evening on his way to visit a patient. He’d seemed quite happy talking about the wonderful big Mercedes he was going to buy as soon as he had enough money, and the wonderful time we were going [...]
If it is possible to concentrate the nature of a person's life into a brief sketch, then that of Anna Kavan is conveyed perfectly in her story Julia and the Bazooka, which seems to me a most symmetrical example of the art by which this obdurately subjective writer chose elements of her life and transformed them into something rich and strange and basically true. Written a year or so before her death in 1968, in a sense she even foresaw her end in this story [...]
Philip Larkin (1922-1985) was a prolific poet and writer of essays, criticism and reviews during the twentieth century. Described as ‘England’s other Poet Laureate’, Larkin composed poetry that captured the spiritual angst of Britain’s post-war landscape and articulated the...
The following essay, originally published in the April 1961 edition of The London Magazine, recounts the time by spent by Eugene Ionesco, one of the 20th century's greatest avant-garde theatre writers, with the Romanian sculptor and painter Constantin Brâncuși,...
First published in the May 1960 issue of The London Magazine (Volume 7, No. 5).Through purblind night the wiper Reaps a swathe of water
First published in the August 1964 edition of the London Magazine (Vol. 4 No.5)(translated from the Italian text by Bernard Wall)I can well believe those other people who describe him differently from what he was as I knew him,...
 First published in the June 1970 edition of The London Magazine (Vol. 10, No. 3)Like a statue too finely carved, too finished and perfected, the boy looked fragile, ever in danger of being injured. The exquisitely pointed nose, the...
Peter Bland, the New Zealand writer and actor, has written extensively over his long career, and has been lauded with many accolades, among them the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in 2011. He wrote two poems for The...
 First published in the December 1976/January 1977 of The London Magazine (Volume 16, No.5)Gopal entered his cubby-hole surrounded by huge racks bulging with musty files. He removed his cycle clips with a practised flourish and placed them carefully by...
First published in the June/July 1977 of The London Magazine (Vol. 17, No. 2)  Of course I stole the title from George Orwell. One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you...
This year has truly brought to the fiction scene some of the most stunning and powerful female characters. From the extreme – such as My Absolute Darling’s Turtle Alveston – to the proudly millennial – such as Sally Rooney’s characters –...
Known in Japan as the 'bank clerk poet', with her work frequently featuring in the bank newsletter where she was employed, Ishigaki's poetry stretches from the dreariness of domestic life to more complicated implications relating to Japan's history of...
With the protagonists of their respective novels being so similar, it is perhaps little surprise that the writers Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler struck up a friendship in the 1950s. After Chandler's death in 1959, Fleming wrote a long...
Pier Paolo Pasolini was an Italian poet, novelist and film-maker, who died in mysterious circumstances in 1975 in an as-yet-unsolved murder case. Hailed by many as one of the great intellectual voices of post-war Europe, throughout his life and...
Before its controversial and ground-breaking publication as a book in 1822, Thomas De Quincey's autobiographical account of opiate addiction Confessions of an English Opium Eater was first published anonymously in The London Magazine across two issues in September and...
First published in the April/May 1976 issue (Vol. 16 No. 1) of The London Magazine (ed. Alan Ross). AFTER THERE WAS NOTHING THERE WAS A WOMANWhose face had reached her mirror Via the vulture’s gullet And the droppings of the wild dog, and she remembers...
I had the good fortune to live in the country until after I came of age. I could recognize and name most of the wild flowers of Ireland, ride a horse and milk a cow, before I went to...

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